Mancini: Win will help our belief

Gareth Barry put the hosts ahead in the 14th minute, Carlos Tevez
claimed he had got the faintest of touches on Micah Richards’
header seven minutes after the interval and the Argentinian
converted a penalty. It was City’s biggest victory over Liverpool
for 73 years and they were well worth it, although the visitors
were poor on the night. Considering Liverpool regard City as their
main rivals for a place in the top four the result could prove to
be hugely significant – even this early in the season. However,
Mancini was wary of reading too much into the outcome. “I thought
we played well. We need time to gel and improve because we were
missing four or five important players,” he said. “But the team
played with a good mentality. If they play with a good mentality I
think we can beat every team. “We beat a strong team like
Liverpool, who can fight for the title. “This win helped us believe
in ourselves and this is important.” The match was Sheikh Mansour’s
first visit to Eastlands, having taken over almost two years ago,
and Mancini was congratulated by him after the game. “He was very
happy because it was the first time he saw City beat Liverpool – I
think it was a good night,” added the Italian. “I hope he can come
every week, but I don’t think it is possible.” Mancini also singled
out goalkeeper Joe Hart for praise after he produced a brilliant
double save from David Ngog and Fernando Torres with the score at
2-0 to keep a clean sheet. “If Liverpool had scored probably the
match would have changed but they had only these chances in 90
minutes and I think we defended really well and Joe saved very
well,” said the City boss. Manager Roy Hodgson, who saw his side
concede a last-minute equaliser against Arsenal in their opening
game, was unhappy with his side’s defending but is not too worried
yet by their return of one point from two matches. But even after
just two matches Liverpool’s lowly 17th position will do little for
morale. Spirit within the camp was not improved before kick-off
when midfielder Javier Mascherano was withdrawn from the squad
after Hodgson said his “mind was not right” after being distracted
by a £12million bid from Barcelona. “I didn’t think we were
under the cosh to the extent 3-0 might suggest and I think we might
consider ourselves unlucky with that wonderful double save by Joe
Hart,” said the Liverpool manager. “But we defended poorly for the
goals and they took their chances well and I thought they played
solidly and strongly throughout. “They took charge of the game and
we were always fighting to get back into it. “You just have to
accept on a night like tonight they we were unable to produce the
level of performance necessary to get a good result.”